Malls remain untouched by COVID-19 restrictions despite social gathering rules


As of Monday night, malls have no restrictions on if and when they can be open

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – On Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced non-essential businesses like gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and water parks are closed starting on Tuesday.

One business he didn’t mention where many people usually gather is malls.

So, how are local malls that are staying open stepping up to make sure its a clean and healthy space during a time of social distancing?

“To a large extent, it is business as usual. The mall is open its regular hours,” said Joe Bell, communications director for the Cafaro Company, which owns the Eastwood Mall Complex.

The Eastwood Mall in Niles is one of few businesses with no restrictions on being open.

On Monday, shoppers were still going store to store… just not as many.

“People are still coming to the mall — shopping, grabbing a bite to eat — it’s just a little less foot traffic than it would typically see,” Bell said.

All restaurants in the mall are open except for Starbucks. But, chairs are placed on top of tables and roped off for much of the food court.

Mall staff was seen spraying down the few tables that were still up.

“We have increased by the frequency of cleaning in our common areas, that means entrance ways, restrooms, food court, the seating areas, children play areas,” Bell said.

Those children’s play areas are still open.

“I’m assuming that there are moms and dads and caretakers who are being careful about coming out to there but we want to reassure them that that play area is frequently cleaned,” Bell said.

Unless told differently by the government, the mall has no plans to close.

“Were still keeping a close eye on the advice of public health officials. No one has asked us to close and we will not close unless there’s some kind of government order that enforces that,” Bell said.

There are 35 restaurants in the Eastwood Mall Complex. Bell said, for now, they’re all serving takeout.

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